Reading time: 400 words, 1 page, 1 to 2 minutes.
Some years ago, the skin on my hands began to crack occasionally. Although a bit painful, my concern was infection because human skin, our body’s largest organ, is our first line of defence against a hostile environment.
The problem usually cleared up after a while and I attributed it to an allergy of some sort. As time went on, it happened more often and lasted longer. “Ah,” I thought, “another unpublished feature of old age.” The doctor prescribed a corticosteroid cream. I used it but I’m not sure if it actually worked because the cracks eventually healed anyway. Besides, there’s concern that long-term use of corticosteroid cream thins the skin.
I put on my detective cap and did some sleuthing. I use regular, (non-bacterial) bar soap in the shower and I have no problem with skin cracking except on my hands. When I wash my hands in the sink, I used anti-bacterial liquid soap. I wondered if there was a connection with anti-bacterial soap and hand skin cracking.
So, it was time to experiment. About a year ago, I switched to hard bar soap for hand washing. And, voila! No more hand skin cracking since abandoning anti-bacterial liquid soap. By the way, at work we use a commercial (not retail) liquid soap for hand washing; it is NOT anti-bacterial, I still use it and my skin isn’t cracking.
I concluded that it is not liquid soap but the anti-bacterial ingredients in soap that is causing skin cracking. So, if you have a problem with skin cracking on your hands, try switching to soap that is NOT anti-bacterial. That might just do the trick.
There are reasons to question the Triclosan in anti-bacterial soap so I’ve been looking for a liquid soap that was NOT anti-bacterial, but everything I see on store shelves is anti-bacterial. If you know of any liquid soap that is NOT anti-bacterial, please leave a comment below because I’d much rather use liquid soap as bar soap because it’s not as messy. I think others might want to know, too.
May 11, 2014
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